Prostate cancer is a malignant tumor that grows from the cells of the prostate gland. It is the most common cancer among men.
The causes of prostate cancer have not been precisely established, but it is known what factors contribute to the development of malignant neoplasm. These include the following:
prostate adenoma, prostatitis and other diseases of the prostate gland;
irregular sex life;
bad habits and unhealthy diet;
disruptions of hormonal levels;
sexually transmitted infections;
weakened immunity, etc.
Risk factors include heredity and age after 50 years.
The main symptoms
In the early stages, the tumor may develop asymptomatically. As the disease progresses and the neoplasm grows in size, the man begins to worry about the first symptoms of prostate cancer:
frequent urge to use the toilet, especially at night;
weakening of the jet;
the appearance of blood impurities in semen and urine;
soreness when urinating;
difficulty with erection.
If treatment is not started, the symptoms of prostate cancer will worsen. Pain in the bones and lower back will begin to bother you, constipation will appear, urinary retention and other complications may occur. If signs of oncology appear, you should immediately consult a doctor and undergo an examination.
How is prostate cancer diagnosed?
If a malignant tumor is suspected, a digital rectal examination and a prostate specific antigen (PSA) test are performed. At the further stage of diagnostics, transrectal ultrasound examination of the prostate gland is performed. Ultrasound allows you to determine the size of the neoplasm, identify seals and other pathological signs.
If PSA levels are elevated and there is a tumor, a biopsy is done. During the histological examination, it is possible to confirm the malignant nature of the neoplasm. Computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging help identify metastases in the body.
The basis of therapy is surgery to remove the prostate, but surgery may be contraindicated for patients over 65-70 years of age in the presence of severe chronic diseases. To prevent relapse, surgery is often combined with other techniques. They are also used for patients with contraindications for surgery.
Chemotherapy for prostate cancer is usually used in stages III and IV, when metastases have appeared. It can form the basis of treatment or be combined with surgery. Radiation therapy is effectively used, especially brachytherapy, when the prostate is irradiated from the inside. With this technique, it is possible to minimize the effect of radioactive rays on healthy tissues.
Since prostate cancer is hormone-dependent, hormone therapy is often used. It aims to reduce the concentration of hormones that affect the growth of neoplasms. Comprehensive treatment for prostate cancer also includes immunotherapy.
Forecasts and prevention
In the early stages, pathologies respond well to treatment, so the 5-year survival rate exceeds 80-90%. But the main danger of prostate cancer is that initially the tumor grows slowly. At advanced stages, malignant cells are highly aggressive, and therefore they easily affect the liver, lungs, intestines and other organs. Treatment of prostate cancer in this case is complicated by multiple metastases, and therefore the prognosis is less encouraging.
Prevention of prostate cancer involves following several rules:
Leading an active lifestyle, playing sports.
Regular sex life to prevent prostate stagnation.
Timely treatment of diseases of the genitourinary system and hormonal disruptions.
Minimal use of carcinogens.
It is important for men over 50 to have regular preventive examinations with a doctor, as the risk of developing prostate cancer increases with age.